Category: Water

A Deeper Look Into Phytodepuration

This summer Algae Bloom has been a buzz word on the news and all of our Facebook newsfeed. How can we fight the algae blooms and the dead zones in our water bodies? DEAD ZONES The Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean, Lake Superior, rivers, and ponds that surround us are all getting invaded with red tides, blue-green algae, and cyanobacteria. They are all harmful toxic algae blooms! Why are algae […]

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Chores by Design

When the concept of sustainability moves past buying things labeled “green” into personal action, the cold hard truth is that our lifestyles need to change as much as the products we buy. Part of living sustainably is adjusting how we do things so that we are less consumptive and reliant on unsustainable systems. Performing everyday tasks — cleaning the floor, washing the dishes, drying clothes, opening a can, making coffee […]

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Unwanted Chemical Pool Gets Permaculture Makeover

Six months into our pool to pond conversion and the problem really has become the solution. For some time, we had been flirting with the idea of doing something productive with our unwanted 12,000 gallon in-ground swimming pool. It was during my Permaculture design course with Geoff Lawton last year that I decided to commit to a full conversion to an aquaculture wetland. What seemed like my most daunting project […]

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Win-Win Situation. Retrofitting Farm Dams to Increase Freeboard and Increase Wildlife Habitat and Productive Edge

The first thing I look for in a dam retrofit other than the spillway, is the freeboard. The freeboard is the height of the dam wall above the spillway. The freeboards presence is critical to the safety of the dam.  After looking at the spillway and the freeboard, I would look at the batters of the dam wall bot. inside and outside.  What degree slope are they?  Can you build […]

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Texas Food Forest and the Results of Good Design.

Five years ago we moved to our current property in North Texas.  While the general area is not particularly challenging, the property itself was.  The three acre property has anywhere from 11 inches (28cm) to as little as 3 inches (7.6cm) of soil, sitting atop a limestone slab.  Note: not rocks but solid slab. An insane place to build a permaculture property but we set to making it happen. In our […]

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Is Aquaponics the Right Choice?

Aquaponics has become a quick celebrity in sustainable food production, and many beginners are interested in creating these systems. In terms of permaculture design, there is some potential in using them, but equally so, it’s important not to lose sight of matching the design to the landscape and resources available. In other words, there are occasions when aquaponics is a sensible option, but not every occasion.   The Basic Premise […]

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What You Need To Know About the UN World Water Development Report

River Winding Through Mountains

Water is essential to life on Earth and therefore governing bodies like the UN must play a role in protecting it as water scarcity becomes a greater issue year by year. Water scarcity and contamination is already life threatening to many communities around the world. The UN World Water Report serves to combat issues surrounding development and the ease of access to clean and healthy water. The UN has provided […]

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Feeding the World: Farming Gets It’s Sea Legs

Seaweed washed up on the beach

The world is shrinking. Not literally, of course. When it comes to mass, our planet is the same size it’s been for billions of years. However, when one instead considers available land mass, that’s a different story. Over the next 30 years, the world population is expected to grow by 30%. This means that by 2050, our planet will be trying to support approximately 9.6 billion people. For a world […]

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Using Gray Water When It’s Too Late to Design Your Home for It

Recently, I wrote an article about passively heating and cooling homes when they haven’t been designed well for it, and to my delight, lots of people left comments, many of them appreciative, regarding the tips. Within those post-article conferring, someone asked for a similar article in relation to gray water usage, so here I sit with that task at hand. Before delving too deeply into it, I just want to […]

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Water Saving Irrigation Practices

Saving water in the soil is without a doubt the easiest and most effective way to manage the water flowing through your land. If you need extra irrigation, however, the water stored up in your soil isn´t easy to access. For irrigation needs, you´ll want to use water that you store in cisterns or tanks. This water can be harvested either from the sky in the form of rain or […]

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The Watson Wick Flush Toilet System

During a recent visit to a friend´s organic farm in Costa Rica, I made my way up the steps to his composting toilet system surrounded by bamboo posts and palm-thatched roofing. As I sat there listening to the birds, I noticed a small poster hanging on the door. It was a comic strip with two drawings. The first drawing showed two extraterrestrials staring into a toilet with question marks over […]

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Evaporation to Aid in Providing Energy

A group of out-of-the-box thinkers from Columbia University recently published a study that claims they may have found a way to efficiently harness energy from the byproduct of evaporation. They’ve been able to put their work into meaningful numbers, estimating that if we implemented their design idea, we could provide power for 70% of the country. The way their evaporation engine works is by way of gathering power from the […]

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